Sometimes you know it’s not going to be your day.
Today’s Rainworth line-up reflected Wednesday’s Notts Senior Cup Semi-final against Sutton, with a number of regulars starting on the bench.
The bench of Kieran Walker, Danny Bacon, Ryan Goward, Ian Holmes and Ricky Hanson meant a debut for Jobe Shaw and returns from injury for Mark Camm and Ashley Kitchen. As well with Alessandro Barcherini still injured and reserve keeper Cameron Smith picking up an injury on Wednesday night, it meant that Adam Somes, a striker by trade, was selected as keeper. To say the travelling faithful feared the worst was an understatement, however how wrong could we have been?
The game started with both sides struggling to get any rhythm, the first chance fell to Market Drayton when Adam Somes fumbled a cross, but Rob Stevenson’s shot easily cleared the crossbar. The game became marooned in the middle of the pitch until in the 14th a fine pass from Jobe Shaw found Jared Holmes whose shot just flashed by the post. A minute later the same player’s free kick just went wide as Rainworth began to gain the upper hand. Market Drayton will feel they should have taken the lead when in the 16th minute Lyndon Campbell hit the crossbar, but the danger was cleared.
This was to be one of their last chances of a half that Rainworth continued to dominate with a return to a style of play that had been missing in the last few games. In the 24th minute the first incident of a match they eventually was to be decided by refereeing interpretations, Jordan Claxton drove into the area and was definitely caught but as he tried to maintain his balance no penalty was given. The Market Drayton goal was under increasing pressure and when Kieran Watson found Kieran Wells his shot on the turn just cleared the bar.
Market Drayton were spending most of the game in their own half but in the 28th minute Rob Stevenson broke and only good defending by Shaw prevented his effort being on target. Rainworth were getting closer to scoring as the match went on and Paul McMullen nearly put the ball into his own net, from a Watson cross. A minute later Claxton’s cross was tipped over for a corner. A goal was all that was missing from the Rainworth bombardment and in the 37th Callum Lloyd’s shot was blocked as it threatened the goal. Rainworth did at last get the goal their play deserved when in the 41st minute Wells scored with a well-placed header from Lloyd’s free kick. Still Rainworth came forward and Watson found Wells whose lob just went over. The referee brought the end to an excellent half for Rainworth; however they only had a one goal lead to show for their domination.
The second half was only four minutes old when Market Drayton’s Neville Thompson chased a through ball into the area with Kitchen, both players were jostling for the ball and what started as six of one ended with Kitchen blocking off Thompson. The referee immediately signalled a penalty; of which I had to agree; but when he produced a red card inferring he was last man when there was other players either side beggared belief. The decision was to be a game changer as it allowed Market Drayton into a game they were struggling to stay in. Thompson duly converted the penalty giving Somes no chance putting into the corner. Rainworth did have the ball in the net in the 57th minute only to have it ruled out for a foul on the keeper. Market Drayton was now getting back into the game using their man superiority to their advantage against a tiring Rainworth side.
Rainworth made a triple substitution in an effort to replace tired legs brining on Goward; Walker and Ian Holmes for Jonathan Williams; Claxton and Watson. Then another hammer blow when the referee awarded a disputed free kick on the edge of the area and Nick Porter struck an unstoppable shot into the far corner, giving Somes no chance. However it was Rainworth who seemed the more likely to score; as they made light of only having ten men. Only some last ditch defending was keeping the Market Drayton goal in-tact and it seemed that Rainworth would achieve that elusive equaliser. They thought they had it in the 84th minute when Dan Lloyd-Weston mishandled Jared Holmes fierce shot but just managed to recover before Wells could put it in the net.
The game was decided in the 89th minute much to Market Drayton’s relief; when on a counter-attack Porter crossed for Dorryll Proffitt to side-foot the ball into the net to make it 3-1. Both sides had further chances but the game ended 3-1 but not before Damien Magee received a yellow card for showing his frustration at the referee’s decision. A strange game for long periods Rainworth were dominant and even when down to ten men not until the last minute when Market Drayton scored their third was the final outcome certain.
MARKET DRAYTON: Lloyd-Weston; Moyo (Jones 80) ; Swetman; Barnett (Johnson 21); McMullen; Blake; Porter; Campbell (Clancy 57); Thompson; Stevenson; Proffitt. Subs (not used): Davies.
RAINWORTH: Somes; Shaw; Magee; Camm; Kitchen; Williams (Walker 62); Watson (I. Holmes 62) J. Holmes; Wells; Lloyd; Claxton (Goward 62). Subs (not used); Bacon; Hanson.
Referee: B. Cooke
Man of Match: Kieran Wells.